San Diego State has clear priorities.
In a recent column at City Journal, Heather Mac Donald described the process by which diversity and social justice are eclipsing real academic pursuits in higher education:
The diversity bureaucracy has finally swallowed an entire college. San Diego State University has just named to its presidency a vice chancellor of student affairs and campus diversity, hired from the University of California, Davis. The new SDSU president, Adela de la Torre, is a peerless example of the intersection of identity politics and the ballooning student-services bureaucracy.
As vice chancellor of student affairs and campus diversity at UC Davis, de la Torre presided over a division made up of a whopping 28 departments—not academic departments, but bureaucratic and identity-based ones, such as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center; the Center for African Diaspora Student Success; the Center for Chicanx and Latinx Student Success; the Native American Academic Student Success Center; the Middle Eastern/South Asian Student Affairs Office; the Women’s Resources and Research Center; the Undocumented Student Center; Retention Initiatives; the Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services; and the Center for First-Generation Student Scholars.
This gallimaufry of identity-based fiefdoms illustrates the symbiosis between an artificially segmented, identity-obsessed student body and the campus bureaucracy: the more that students carve themselves into micro-groups claiming oppressed status, the more pretext there is for new cadres of administrators to shield them from oppression. (The causation runs in the opposite direction as well: the very existence of such identity-based bureaucracies encourages students to see themselves as belonging to separate tribes.) The admission of students who do not share the academic qualifications of their peers also creates a vast bureaucratic genre of retention services, one now taking aim at traditional pedagogy said to handicap underrepresented minorities.
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